readingredhead: (Default)
You know you're going insane when the conversations you have with yourself don't even make sense.

ME: Why does it get dark so early?
ME: Because you haven't written a to-do list, that's why!

But seriously: it starts getting dark around 3:30pm and the sun has set by 4:30pm. I am sick and sort of have cramps and wish I had a comfy couch on which to do my reading but there are NO COUCHES. Anywhere. Just my bed, but if I read on my bed I will sleep. Also, I have not written a to-do list. Or rather, I did right before Andy showed up, but now I've managed to lose it. Probably this means I won't do anything. Go figure.

Also, there is no water working in my flat so I cannot even make myself tea. Probably I will go to a cafe and try to find an armchair (a poor substitute for a couch) and do some actual reading.

Yeah. Right.

I don't know how this semester has flown by so fast...
readingredhead: (Talk)
A moment of white space for the California Supreme Court's decision:












Seriously, guys.

My family subscribes to the LA Times, and while I was glad that they covered the topic extensively, including front-page articles and a full spread later on, the first sentence of this article which glibly assumed the court's decision that marriage is a "label," made my stomach twist. For the first time, I wrote a letter to the editor:

Even if we accept for a moment that marriage is merely a “label” when our emphasis upon it as a significant cultural ritual would suggest otherwise, denying this “label” to gay and lesbian couples legitimizes discrimination. The excuse that partners joined in civil unions or domestic partnerships receive the same rights as married couples without the “label” is untrue both legally and in practice. This smells of another “separate but equal.” True equality consists in entirely shared rights--even the right to a label.

I could have said so much more, but shorter letters have a greater likelihood of being printed.

In the meantime: compassion, determination, willpower, justice, love. These are powerful tools. Let's use them.

*

I'm getting so much done that it's scary.

Thanks at least in part to [livejournal.com profile] rondaview 's birthday gift of a beautiful Moleskine day-planner, I have been actually organizing the goals that I want to achieve this summer, and working bit by bit, day by day, toward achieving them. I'm always good at making big goals, but breaking them down into smaller components so that I can actually accomplish things is somewhat new. So now, I write down what I want to accomplish on a day-to-day basis, and instead of sitting and staring off into space when I don't have something immediately pressing to do, I look at the planner and it tells me what I need to get done. Quite efficient! I am hoping that this will continue as the summer progresses...

*

In other news, I don't know if I ever told anyone that I got a job for this summer. I'll be writing study guides and other materials for DemiDec, the company that produces materials for Academic Decathlon competitions as well as a bunch of other academic-related stuff worldwide. It's entirely work-from-home, I just have to upload projects every few days or so and integrate editorial comments from whoever my boss is (I'm still not clear on this). In fact I'm still not clear on a lot of things, but the one thing I do know is that it pays well, has flexible hours, and is something I can do from an internet cafe anywhere in the world. Frankly, these sound like hallmarks of a great job to me.

*

In the past week, I finally read Good Omens and The Graveyard Book. I was actually a little disappointed with Good Omens because it had been so hyped, and while I liked it a lot, it doesn't beat out any of my favorite books. I was trying to explain this to [livejournal.com profile] octavius_x on facebook but I don't know if it worked. The thing is, I really like books that are really focused on the mind of a single main character, maybe two MCs tops, with well-controlled supporting casts. I also like series, because they give me more time to fall in love with the same people. I really enjoyed the world that Gaiman and Pratchett present, and I think that it's obvious that they have great things to say and a great way of saying them, but as a story, it didn't grab me the way I wanted it to.

Of course, none of this to say it isn't good -- it's still fantastic! It can't possibly not be fantastic! I really liked how the story started, but (and maybe this is because I rushed through the end a bit) I didn't like the end as much. Probably because there were more pages devoted to a much smaller amount of time (the few days before the end of the world). But maybe just because the book opens with the Angel with the Flaming Sword giving the aforementioned sword to Adam and Eve to keep warm, and then continues by asserting that infamous London motorway M25 is in fact shaped like a devilish sigil, explaining all of the pain and frustration and hardship that this single road causes.

I think I might have liked The Graveyard Book better, mostly because Silas is kickass and I think I love him quite a bit. Also, Spoiler! ) I really liked the Jacks of all trades, they were a fantastic sinister presence, and part of why Neil Gaiman rocks so much. Thank you, Neil Gaiman, for taking children's books seriously.

(Sidenote: when I was searching for The Graveyard Book at my local public library, I couldn't find it on the shelf where I thought it was supposed to be, so I went to ask the woman at the children's desk. When I told her the title I was looking for, her face scrinched up and she said with mixed disdain and horror, "Oh, you want the scary book." Her colleague then interrupted to inform me that it was shelved with the award winners, and she scrinched again at the thought.)

I was thinking about this, and I realized that I also liked The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents better than I liked the one adult Terry Pratchett novel I started (and have yet to finish, I know, I'm a terrible person): Monstrous Regiment. Maybe I just have a thing for children's literature? Roughly half of my favorite books are marketed as young adult (Harry Potter, Young Wizards) and that certainly doesn't keep me from enjoying them.

*

Finally, [livejournal.com profile] kaleo2tz is busy gallivanting through Europe right now, and I am infinitely jealous. However, as I will soon be doing some gallivanting of my own, I am probably not allowed to complain. Probably. But I might do it anyway.
readingredhead: (Default)
Thursday (3/6):

--study for Russian history (afternoon)
--bSpace post due for English by 5pm

Friday (3/7):

--meet with Tony Bliss at 10am
--talk to admissions office about IB credit (again)

Saturday (3/8):

--study for Russian history (time TBD)

Sunday (3/9):

--assorted homework and reading
--study for Shakespeare midterm

Monday (3/10)

--short story due
--2 short story critiques due
--read Book 1 Cantos 2-6 of The Faerie Queen

Tuesday (3/11)

--Shakespeare midterm at 12:30pm
--study for Russian history midterm
--IM soccer game at 9pm
--begin re-reading King Lear

Wednesday (3/12)

--study for Russian history midterm
--have read Book 1 Cantos 7-9 of The Faerie Queen
--UGIS 39B project proposal due

Thursday (3/13)

--Russian history midterm at 11am
--have King Lear read for Shakespeare

Things that are due and when they are due:
--bSpace post (tomorrow)
--short story (Monday)
--short story critiques (Monday)
--Book 1 Cantos 2-6 of The Faerie Queen (Monday)
--UGIS 39B project proposal (Wednesday)
--King Lear (Thursday)

Things I need to do in order to study adequately for midterms:
--finish reading Russian history reader
--review Russian history IDs
--review "In the Shadow of Revolution" summaries
--listen to recorded lectures for Russian history
--finish reading "In the Shadow of Revolution"
--review Russian history essay possibilities
--review passages discussed in Shakespeare class
--review notes for both classes

Is it a bad thing that this really isn't that much to do, and yet I have very little desire to do it all? Specifically, all the work for this Russian history class. I love the subject matter but it makes me nervous that 40% of my grade depends on this midterm. (Granted in the Shakespeare class it makes me nervous that I have no idea how much of my grade depends upon this midterm, but at least for that class we have two papers in addition to the midterm and final.) Oh, and I suppose for fiction, too. I don't want to write a short story. I don't think I've found one I can fall in love with. Sucks for me.

And yet this should not be difficult. I seriously have all the time in the world to do this stuff. So why is it that things still don't get done to the last minute? I didn't think I was that kind of procrastinator, but sure enough I haven't even done my laundry in a week and a half or cleaned up my impossibly messy desk and floorspace since moving back in. I don't like it. I just also don't like the idea of doing something about it.
--re-read the end of Hamlet
readingredhead: (Default)
 Things that are due and when they are due so that maybe I'll do them:

Tomorrow (2/28)
--Claire and Richard in Berkeley
--see Sixteen Candles

Friday (2/29)
--Russian study group: Fitzpatrick summary
--English: nothing

Saturday (3/1)
--Clarion application due
--see Other Boleyn Girl?

Sunday (3/2)

Monday (3/3)
--English: Chaucer paper
--Creative Writing: three short stories

Tuesday (3/4)
--Russian: nothing
--Shakespeare: nothing
--IM Soccer game

Wednesday (3/5)
--English: nothing
--Creative Writing: three short stories

Thursday (3/6)
--Russian: nothing
--Shakespeare: nothing
--English: bSpace post

Friday (3/7)
--English: nothing
--Katherine comes

Saturday (3/8)

Sunday (3/9)
--Katherine leaves

Monday (3/10)
--English: reading
--Creative Writing: two short stories, my story due

Tuesday (3/11)
--Russian: midterm review
--Shakespeare: midterm

Wednesday (3/12)
--English: reading
--Creative Writing: one short story

Okay, that actually scares me a lot more than I thought that it might.  Shit.  I need to do some work!

Thursday (3/13)
--Russian: midterm
--Shapespeare: read King Lear
readingredhead: (Burning)
--more ID terms for Russian history
--pgs. 277-364 in Russian history reader
--read chapter 11 of Russian history textbook
--re-read Danica's short story and type up critique
--re-read Sonja's short story and type up critique
--finish writing tutor application
--choose short story #2 to submit for Clarion
--edit "Cold War, Cold World"
--submit Clarion application
--pick poems to submit to Berkeley Poetry Review (max. 4)
--submit poetry to Berkeley Poetry Review
--start brainstorming Chaucer paper topics
--read Hamlet again
--Chaucer reading for Monday
--cultural history of Russia timeline
--read Elizabeth's short story

I guess this means I got things done today.  I spent a few hours studying Russian history this morning with a woman from my class and got some stuff done, though now I've also got a lot more things to do.  We decided we'd go through the IDs early and we're doing a lot of preparation for things like the essays.  I'm meeting with her again Wednesday morning and we'll see how it goes from there.

Major list cross-off is that I finally figured what story I'm going to submit for Clarion along with "Fire and Ice."  Of course it's the one I was so certain I was least likely to send, but after I re-read "Cold War, Cold World" for the first time in I'm not sure how long, I realized that I like it.  It's rough in places but it's the easiest to patch over the course of the next week.  I can tell you a billion things that are wrong with it but hopefully people will get too caught up in the story to really care.  (Let's just say I'm glad I can't take this into my fiction class to get workshopped -- they'd rip it into small, predictable pieces.)

I've (of course and as usual) got other things to do.  I'm halfway through Hamlet again and it makes me think of Mr. Krucli.  I sent him an e-mail the other day to let him know how helpful his class has been for me.  Seriously, he's the reason why I'm making it through my Shakespeare class this semester.  Or at least one of the reasons.

I leave you on this note: A Knight's Tale (the movie) is so much funnier when you've read Chaucer.

Okay so I lied and I'm not needing you.  I need a better title for "Cold War, Cold World" and also anyone who feels they have enough time to read it between now and Tuesday to give me suggestions on what to fix should e-mail / comment / call so that I can send you the newest copy.  That's all.
readingredhead: (Red Pen)
Crap I have to do this weekend:

--more ID terms for Russian history
--pgs. 277-364 in Russian history reader
--read chapter 11 of Russian history textbook
--re-read Danica's short story and type up critique
--re-read Sonja's short story and type up critique
--finish writing tutor application
--choose short story #2 to submit for Clarion
--submit Clarion application
--submit poetry to Berkeley Poetry Review
--start brainstorming Chaucer paper topics
--read Hamlet again

It'll be nice to get the Clarion stuff done.  I still have no idea what story I'm submitting along with "Fire and Ice."  I've gotten so many mixed messages.  Before I had other people read my stuff I was so sure it would be "Potential Energy," but then no one else liked it as much as I did and Shanna sent it back to me with a really great critique that pointed out to me all the ways in which I could make it work so much better -- which is a nice way of saying she told me all the ways it wasn't working, and I know enough about writing to know her points were valid.

Then I pretty much have ruled out "The Free Way" simply because it's way ungainly at the moment and I don't have the heart to put it through a massive rewrite, especially when I'm not sure that's what it needs at all, at least not now.  At least, not for this.  Also I'm not sure I can do that in 6,000 words (though I probably could if I had to).

The technical aspects of "Staring into Space" make me dislike it for a few reasons (not to mention the fact that it feels too young to me, which is understandable since it's the first short story I ever wrote) but I recently revised it and it was at least feeling a little fresher.  At the same time, though, it's also slightly cliched in places.  It's more of a traditional sf piece.  At the moment that's the largest thing it's got going for it.

My father thinks I should send them "Cold War, Cold World" but I have a few issues with that, too (not the least of which being that it's also set somewhere extremely cold and obviously I can write things that are not set in the Arctic, thankyouverymuch, but I'd like that to show).  Dad thinks it's a strong showing because it demonstrates that I can do traditional sf.  I think it shows that I shy away from the elements of traditional sf that really matter -- the exact nature of the mysterious chemical, the action sequence when the hostages are rescued.  I like what might be termed the "trickiness" of the ending, but I don't know if that's enough to justify it as an inclusion.

I hate not knowing these things and having no way to judge them on my own.  I was hoping that a pattern would emerge from people's answers.  Well, a pattern did emerge -- Fire and Ice is really great and nothing else that you put next to it will look half as good.  Never in so many words but that's completely how it feels to me right now.  (And partly that scares me because I wrote "Fire and Ice" two and a half years ago, and I don't want that to have been my peak!)

Well.  I guess this means I'll just go along doing other things on the list until that's the only one I'm left with.  Usually this is a good idea.  I just hope that it will be this time.
readingredhead: (Default)
Agh, too many things I want to do and not enough time to do it.  I've got  a bajillion things to do tonight.

1. finish writing my short story
2. read and critique two short stories
3. vote for Barack Obama
4. begin reading As You Like It
5. read more of Canterbury Tales
6. go to a students for Obama party tonight (watching election results)
7. go to an Alumni association meeting
8. do research for the library seminar

Um, I'm sure there's something else I'm forgetting.  And of course I don't have to do all of those, but I really want to.  Especially the Obama party, because it's at my favorite pizza place on northside.  Maybe I'll get Becca to come with me?

I stayed up til 1AM last night in order to watch the beginning of the A&E Pride and Prejudice, and it makes me immensely happy.

Maybe if the voiting thing doesn't take too long, I'll be able to make everything work.
readingredhead: (Default)

So, things I need to do in some kind of order--

1. Read the history chapter on WWI
2. Re-read the history sources
3. Write an essay outline on the history sources
4. Look for critical literature about the function of letters and writing in Pride and Prejudice
5. Re-read passages in Pride and Prejudice that discuss the function of letters and writing
6. Look for critical literature on whether Pride and Prejudice has a happy ending
7. Construct an essay outline for English
8. Memorize how to count to ten in Korean
9. Write 2,500 words
10. Sleep

Lather, rinse, and repeat?

readingredhead: (Pants)
Things I will probably/hopefully/really ought to do today:

--laundry
--read Part 4 of Gulliver's travels
--read Chapter 13 for History
--read at least one of the primary source docs for History
--write something, even if it has nothing to do with the creative writing exercise I'm supposed to have done by Sunday
--write in my journal for my language & tech seminar
--finish labeling map for map quiz
--breathe
--eat a large and unrushed meal
--take a nap
--write more real letters to people

I hope I don't seem too stressed to everyone. Really, I'm doing well. And I don't have more club meetings until...Tuesday, I think. That should be a good thing.

I'll probably post more about my life tomorrow morning before breakfast...they don't start serving on weekends until 10:30! And of course I wake up before that so this gives me something to do.

Triangle

May. 2nd, 2007 09:50 pm
readingredhead: (Talk)
I have an IB English test tomorrow, IB History and Chemistry next week along with AP Calc, followed by AP Chem and IB Spanish. I have homework due tomorrow in several classes, and a short story to write in 13 days.

So of course, I just spent the last forty-five minutes watching one of the best episodes of X-Files I've ever seen.

Testing can wait.
readingredhead: (Burning)
So, I've figured out what I need to do if I want to make this Spring Break actually productive.  I need to figure out what I'm going to work on each day, and actually do it.  I need a schedule that says what I'm doing for the rest of the days I've got left, and includes all of the things I need to do.  So here goes an attempt at that.

Monday
  • Chemistry free-response AP problems (start)
  • Calculus AP multiple choice problems (continue)
  • Submit Statement of Legal Residence to UC Berkeley
  • mail Lowe's Scholarship
  • fill out GPA-based scholarship
  • talk to Jenny about getting sign-up form for short story clas
  • spend 30 minutes freewriting for Ages of Wonder story
Tuesday
  • sign up for CalSO
  • read Man and Superman (finish)
  • Calculus AP multiple choice problems (finish)
  • Chemistry free-response AP problems (continue)
  • Organize: clean computer desk
  • spend 30 minutes freewriting for Ages of Wonder story
Wednesday
  • Chemistry free-response AP problems (finish)
  • IB English practice commentary (poem)
  • type relevant IB History notes (start)
  • Organize: clean work desk
  • spend 30 minutes freewriting for Ages of Wonder story
Thursday
  • type relevant IB History notes (finish)
  • re-read Streetcar and make notes (start)
  • study IB Spanish test, noting areas of difficulty
  • study Chemistry review in AP book
  • Organize: clean binder/folders
  • spend 30 minutes freewriting for Ages of Wonder story
Friday
  • combine IB History & AP Euro notes into study packet
  • re-read Streetcar and make notes (finish)
  • study Chemistry flashcards, making additional ones if necessary
  • Organize: clean floor space
  • spend 30 minutes freewriting for Ages of Wonder story
  • study IB Spanish, focusing on areas of difficulty
Saturday
  • study history packet
  • work on sketching Star Wars poster
  • take practice AP Chem test
  • edit Perspectives and order copies
  • spend 30 minutes freewriting for Ages of Wonder story
Sunday
  • study Streetcar
  • work on sketching Star Wars poster
  • create tentative class schedules for Tele-BEARS registration
  • spend 30 minutes freewriting for Ages of Wonder story

RULES OF THE SCHEDULE
1. Thou shalt complete all assignments on any given day before proceeding to work on assignments for a future date.
2. Thou shalt actively create time in thy schedule for these things.
3. Thou shalt always work ahead if time permits.

Now let's just see how far I can follow this.
readingredhead: (Default)

Sadly, this is gonna look a lot like a "to do" list -- maybe because it is.

Spanish
--final draft of essay (due Tues.)
--Cuban Science Fiction (due next Mon.)
Chemistry
--Group IV project
00--lab write-up (Sat.)
00--experiment (Wed.)
00--powerpoint presentation (by next Mon.)
--IB lab write-up
--homework (due Thurs.)
English
--World Lit formatted (due Tues.)
--Review King Lear
History
--Internal Assessment first draft (due Fri.)
--Road to War reading (due Mon.)
Calculus
--homework (due ?)

I've started on the internal assessment for history, and the world lit papers for English.  We're meeting about the Group IV project in Chem today (actually in about an hour) and I've mostly written up my individual lab.  My Spanish esay and the Road to War chapter are the only long-term things on this list that I haven't started yet.  But I'd better get going, especially if I want to go to the movies tonight.

Later remind me to tell the story of my Berkeley interview that's next week and not today.

readingredhead: (Default)
Really don't like homework.

What I have left to do:

Chemistry
--finish homework
--study for test (flashcards)
English/Senior Thesis
--read The Stars Are Ours
--read Brave New World
--read Foundation
--write first eight pages of thesis
--start Hamlet (?)
TOK
--start "ten questions" essay
Calculus
--homework
MUN
--organize freshmen into jobs
--write HBHS position paper
--write UCSD position paper
Other
--get together short story collection for publication

I hate it that this list never gets any shorter. I'm heading off to Calculus and Chem today -- hopefully to get those done, so that I have a real weekend?

Went to Disneyland yesterday in the morning because I could, then went to lunch with Rick and his family, then Rick came home with me and we watched TV and ate dinner and watched more TV. Altogether did nothing -- and it felt good, but now I'm wishing I'd had a more productive week.
readingredhead: (Default)
Stuff I've gotta get done some time or other...

Chemistry
--finish homework
--study for test (flashcards)
English/Senior Thesis
--read The Stars Are Ours
--read Brave New World
--read Fahrenheit 451
--read Foundation
--write first eight pages of thesis
--start Hamlet (?)
History
--read chapters
TOK
--start "ten questions" essay
Calculus
--homework
MUN
--grade position papers
--organize freshmen into jobs
--write HBHS position paper
--write UCSD position paper
Other
--get together short story collection for publication

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